Beer for the Weekend: Udderly Stout

udderly stoutMilk Stout is a beer style that I’ve mainly enjoyed in the abstract. I love the idea of a Milk Stout, and I’ve tried dozens of Milk Stouts in hopes of finding one that appeals to me in the actual. However, until now, my lactose soaked search has been mostly to no avail[1]. That changed, drastically changed, in fact, with my first sip of the Udderly Stout from Westbrook Brewing Company. This delicious milk stout from a South Carolina brewery more than deserves its selection as the Beer for the Weekend. In fact, and taking into consideration that we’re still less than two months into 2015, the Udderly Stout may very well win 2015’s Best of the Beer for the Weekend Beer contest[2]. In fact, I’ll be surprised, nay, shocked if it’s not in the top ten, at the very least.

Westbrook Brewing Company is located in Mt. Pleasant, SC. If you don’t know where Mt. Pleasant is specifically located, it is a suburb of Charleston. According to travel magazines, everyone loves Charleston, and many people choose Charleston as a vacation destination. That means that statistically several of this website’s readers will be in Charleston at some point this year. I encourage those readers who do find themselves in Charleston to make a point to go over to Mt. Pleasant[3] and take a tour of Westbrook Brewing Company and enjoy the brewery’s tasting room. For those readers outside the statistical reach of the travel magazines’ polls, I encourage you to put the Charleston area on your list of places to visit – besides Westbrook Brewing, there are several excellent breweries in the area[4] to compliment the many great restaurants.

AROMA: I hesitate to use “chocolate milk” as a descriptor, both for the aroma and flavor, because it doesn’t do justice to the complexity; and, if someone described a beer using “chocolate milk,” I think that I would probably not listen to much else that was said about the beer, having the assumption that I wouldn’t be drinking any. But, and chalk this up to my inadequacies as a writer/reviewer and don’t hold it against the Udderly Stout, chocolate milk is present in the nose. That’s not all the aromas present, though. The beer has a rich aroma filled with sweet malt notes like black currant, espresso, and jelly. Within that rich malt sweetness, the Udderly Stout’s aroma is also very balanced. Pleasant and clean hops poke through, and keep the roasted barley in check. I’ve been racking my brain and flipping through past scoring sheets, and I can’t think of another beer that has a more appetizing aroma than Westbrook Brewing Company’s Udderly Stout. 11.5/12

APPEARANCE: For the sake of this review’s word count, the Udderly Stout looks exactly like a Milk Stout is supposed to look. 3/3

FLAVOR: On my tasting notes, I wrote, “don’t know how to say this – chocolate milk but without losing beer/stout characteristics.” I think that I kinda figured out how to say it, as evidenced by my “chocolate milk” caveat under Aroma. Like its aroma, the story of the Udderly Stout’s flavor is more complex than “chocolate milk.” Very balanced with just enough sweetness contrasted by just enough bitterness, the roasted barley notes are proudly on display. For me, though, the most important aspect of its flavor is that the milk notes are there, but the beer still has the big robust roasted barley flavors that I expect from a Stout. Often, in my experience, Milk Stouts are mostly Milk and very little Stout. The Westbrook Brewing Co. Udderly Stout makes an outstanding Stout as a Stout, but without sacrificing what people love about Milk Stouts. 19/20

MOUTHFEEL: A full-bodied beer that is creamy, rich, and soft on the palate. Without a doubt, the Udderly Stout has the best mouthfeel of any beer that I’ve had in quite a while. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I don’t necessarily want to state that the Westbrook Brewing Co. Udderly Stout is my new favorite beer, but it may very well be just that. I know this for sure, the Udderly Stout has staked its claim on the short-list for my all-time favorite beers. An almost perfect Milk Stout that will make you thankful you took my advice and bought this as the beer for your weekend. 9.5/10

TOTAL: 48/50

Outstanding (45-50), Excellent (38-44), Very Good (30-37), Good (21-29), Fair (14-20), Problematic (0-13)

[1] There are a few milk stouts, that will remain unnamed, that I like, I guess. If served, I will happily drink them. But, if I see one of those few milk stouts on a menu, my eyes will keep scanning for better options.

[2] That’s not really a thing, yet. I kinda like the idea, but I’ll have to think about it. Thankfully I have ten months to decide. For now, however, the point stands that Westbrook’s Udderly Stout is awesome!

[3] And you’re going to have to Google the directions from your King Street hotel to Mt. Pleasant yourself. I can’t do everything for you.

[4] Coast Brewing and Holy City Brewing, to name two.


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